Pinterest: beyond the buzz

You may have heard of Pinterest, the new social media platform that is taking the web by storm. Pinterest is like a virtual pinboard, where you share images you like either gathered from the web (like a shared bookmark) or uploaded from your own collection. Users can create boards on any theme and these are also tagged in categories, so you can browse through History or Technology, for example, and re-pin other people’s favourites to your own pin boards. You can follow other people’s boards and you can also integrate it with your facebook or Twitter accounts.

 

Image of Pinterest Education category

A Pin it! bookmarklet to add to your browser makes it easy to grab web content.

The joy of Pinterest is its visual nature – you can’t save text-only content, only material with images attached (even if it’s a web page with lots of text and only one image). That makes it perfect for gathering items together like a scrapbook.

Interestingly, most data so far indicates that the vast majority of its users are women. That’s not surprising, as many of the early users did use it as a scrapbook, so that some of the most glorious image collections are in themes like historical fashion and home decor – including drool-worthy bookshelves and libraries (there are also a lot of recipes).

Image of Pinterest board

But dig a little deeper – if you can – and you’ll soon recognise Pinterest’s value as an image repository, link sharing community, and easy-to-use site for students or classes to quickly assemble project materials on a huge range of topics.

Under the Education category you’ll find teaching materials and classroom activities gathered together by educators all over the world, and in other categories you and your students can find everything from historic photos of Victorian London or World War 1, to images of shoes worn in 1770 or wildlife or botanical drawings.

These “pins” can be shared on social media or embedded in blogs or websites.

 

Image of Pinterest pin

Pinterest is deceptively simple and dangerously addictive. Beware.

This entry was posted in Presentation tool, Research tools, Teaching resources, Web 2.0 tools and tagged , by Kelly Gardiner. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kelly Gardiner

I’m a journalist and editor by trade, have worked across many different media and also in community development, and shifted to the web in the olden days (1998) to work for a little start-up called ninemsn.com.au. I’ve been at the State Library of Victoria for five years, first as Web Manager and now as an Online Learning Manager, responsible for online learning tools and courses such as the PLN, Bright Ideas blog and ergo, as well as strategic direction for our other learning-related websites. In my spare time I write books for kids and young adults and chip away at my PhD. I use web tools every day in my work, research, study, writing and… well, my whole life. I use Dropbox and Evernote most days, I blog and am on Twitter and facebook far too often, and have recently become hopelessly devoted to Pinterest.

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